You can view this week's list in two ways: holiday event guide, or holiday survival guide. Take your pick. We've got well-curated, artist-run shopping parties to help you avoid the soul-shattering mall parking lots; art shows to rejuvenate your energy supply; and even a holiday-themed haunted house to redirect your stress and heart rate. Elves with knives and apocalypse quilts? It must be Christmas!
Gift exchange this list through your friend circle, and click on the event titles for more information. I'll see you out there. (I'll be the one putting Chain-saw Santa in time-out.)
Thursday, 12/6 WIGWAM -- This hip little pop-up gift shop (emerging next door to Oil and Cotton) isn't your parents' gift market. These artists create lovely goods like meticulously tinkered bicycle bells, hand-stamped stationery, luxurious leather handbags and bewitching jewelry. PLUS YOU CAN SHOP WHILE DRINKING COCKTAILS AND EATING TAMALES. Sorry to yell, I just get so excited. Holiday Presence at Kettle -- They've turned the heat up at Kettle, bubbling over with cheer in anticipation of Holiday Presence. The gift show/sale gives us the best and craftiest side of Kettle artists, and is another great way to support our local makers of goodies, rather than that gawdawful mall.
Friday 12/7 Festivus Follies -- Those lovely ladies of Viva Dallas Burlesque want to be the brandy in your eggnog -- warming, alluring and filling your mind with mischievous thoughts. They've got a big holiday show on Friday night; expect a two-parts-naughty to one-part-nice ratio. Green Bandana's Ash Fridays, Post Paris -- There's a new event space/party realm in town called Ash Studios, and I'm told it's an unmatched art hideaway. A little bit sculpture garden, a whole lot passion project, Ash will have its first major bash on Friday in this new weekly pop-up party series. There are DJs, booze, a bonfire (read: bring extra alcohol and s'mores supplies) and a party that dares ask the question: "What do you do after you've partied in Paris? Maybe the answer is Berlin. Maybe the answer is this."
Dead Week Print Show -- Before exams, there is dead week. It's a chance to cram all those facts you were supposed to study before, into your dome piece. It's also a chance to party. Do that, Denton-style, at Friday's art/music showcase featuring posters by P.A.N.T.S., the Printmakers Association Of North Texas Students. The music bill is great too: New Fumes, Zorch, Summer of Glaciers, Def Rain and Ulnae.
Post Future, by Matthew Koons -- This one-man show of hand-cut collage, happening at RO2 Art Downtown, will likely invigorate you like Superman entering the crystalline Fortress of Solitude. You'll get lost in the work, and absorb enough incandescence to glow and flow through the rest of December.
Tom and Judy Holiday Sale -- These wonderfully twisted artists make great, weird holiday ornaments, embellished with phrases like "Elf Twat." They'll also reveal two, count 'em, TWO apocalypse quilts. I don't know what that means, but I'm determined to find out.
Saturday, 12/8 Nightscare Before Christmas -- Ho-ho-holy crap. A holiday-themed haunted house? Yes, this is happening. Moxley Manor proves for two Saturday nights only (the 8th and the 15th) that elves are just terrifying, tiny clowns. STAY CLEAR OF THE MISTLETOE.
Brad Troemel's "Conceal and Carry" at Oliver Francis Gallery -- Just to shake up your Saturday night a little more is this last-minute black-market offering, sponsored by The Stoneleigh Hotel and Spa. Troemel has been collecting, re-creating and growing artifacts gleaned from the underground since 2011; his latest ruminations on the role this channel serves with the economy as a whole will be revealed from 7 to 10 p.m. at OFG.
The Store, at Texas Theatre -- It's a one-night-only showing of Frederick Wiseman's documentary about our local fashion institution icon, Neiman Marcus. A cocktail party will follow -- consider it your gift with purchase.
"Art in Motion: An Ode to Graffiti" -- Chris Bingham brings his street style indoors for a show at Norwood Flynn Gallery on Saturday night. Explore his nostalgic take on realism at the opening reception, and then check out the concurrently running holiday show. The Ginger Man's Annual Holiday Beer Tasting -- There's nothing wrong with drinking your way through the holiday season, unless you choose terrible beer. You should gift yourself a more delicious stress outlet. Doing so has never been easier since the Ginger Man provides tastings of seasonal brews from your favorite hop dealers. RSVP for your $35 ticket to Drunken Wonderland.
Sunday, 12/9 Scarface in 35mm -- Almost 30 years ago the world met Tony Montana, a true entrepreneur. And now, this ode to sex, drugs and violence is having a birthday that the Texas Theatre celebrates with a throwback 35mm cinematic barrage.
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The Reading Room Presents "Exit For Sale," and a corresponding art talk with Simek and Kennedy -- Adding context to Brandon Kennedy's new collection of installations, photographs and grey matter excavation, "Exit For Sale," currently on display at the Reading Room, is a chit chat with the artist and D Magazine's critic Peter Simek. Billed lovingly as "flirting with both failure and disruption," the two will discuss exactly how and why we should lower the bar on expectations. As a daily celebrator of failure, I will be there at 3 p.m. on Sunday.
Norton Records Benefit -- We don't often dip into music for this list, but Sunday's Norton Records benefit tugs at my vinyl heartstrings. The Brooklyn-based label's warehouse flooded during Sandy, ruining or at least drenching its entire stock of merchandise. They've had drying parties, where friends and family have polished off and pressed the water out of the records, but much was beyond salvage. There's a show in Fort Worth to support the cause, featuring Dove Hunter, Year of the Bear, Oddlot, War Party, Ape Hangers, Street Arabs and Casa Magnetica.
Tuesday, 12/11 Oral Fixation Presents "Cold Turkey" -- I can't get enough of this monthly storytelling series, which puts locals center stage to reveal intimate life moments. All scenes presented are plucked from reality and based around a theme; this month's topic is appropriately centered around the holidays and our own Observer copy editor, Jesse Hughey, will discuss the time he was arrested on Thanksgiving. Santa! You got my letter!
Wednesday, 12/12 12-12-12 at Circuit 12 -- Celebrate Wednesday's tri-numerology with extreme matching at Circuit 12 gallery. The artspace is throwing a major rager, with an all 12-inch vinyl record soundtrack, complimentary bevies (with your $12 ticket), and a bedtime that won't leave your wrecked on Thursday (the party shuts down at 12, midnight). 21 and up, kiddos.